Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Real 'Inception' is We've All Been Incepted

I watched Inception for the second time tonight, and it became clear that it was the best movie of the year, followed distantly by Kickass, The Expendables, Shutter Island, and The Town. Many different theories follow this film, which shows how great the story was. I devised one theory that I will expend no more than 100 additional hours pondering, and will then permanently put it in the can. My theory is...

Inception movie poster
Most viewers think the movie played out how it appears: Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is falsely accused of murdering his wife, he takes a job in return for dropped charges, he places an idea inside Fischer's mind, it works, he gets back to reality and lives happily ever after with his kids.

That is the easy way out. It is also likely what the director, Christopher Nolan, meant to happen, as anything else would be too crazy and complex to even consider. That's where us silly movie-watchers come in.

One theory is that the entire movie took place in a dream-state, and that there was no reality. After seeing Inception the first time, this was the direction my mind wandered.

But, what if Inception was a hybrid of reality and dream-limbo? Here is my new theory which will likely change numerous times before my brain shuts down from overexertion and I slip into my own limbo state:

The main storyline—implanting the idea inside Fischer's mind—actually occurred, and the planning of this inception took place in the real world. Cobb and his wife really did have children, and slip into limbo where they lived some 50 years before getting run over by a train, which seemingly brought them back to reality. She later killed herself by jumping off a building. But what if killing themselves in limbo occurred simultaneously to the actual sedative wearing off in reality, meaning they would have "kicked back" anyway? In this case, dying by train was merely a coincidence.

At the end of the film, Cobb and Saito realize they're in limbo, so Saito kills Cobb and then himself in order to return to reality. Saito had since become a very old man, while Cobb had aged very little. In this case, what if Saito killed himself simultaneously to when the actual sedative wore off in reality—just like the train mentioned above? Again, the "kick back" would have occurred anyway. Cobb entered limbo after Saito, so his "kick back" wasn't due for another 40 years. When Saito shot Cobb, that sent him into a deeper layer of limbo instead of reality. This is the second inception: Cobb thinks he's gone back to reality, when really he's still in unconstructed dream space. He creates the world around him, including his children. Essentially, he implanted in himself the idea that he let go of his dead wife, let go of his regret, and joined his children in reality. Whoomp there it is!

Postscript: Actually, DiCaprio incepted all of us and we are in a collective limbo. Let me spend 1,000 hours trying to figure this one out and I'll get back to you.